Pray that the saints would prophesy in the divine way and with the divine element and would be gained by the Lord to minister Christ with all His riches to one another through their speaking (1 Pet. 4:10-11 and notes 102 and 111; Eph. 3:7-8).
1 Pet. 4:10-11—Each one, as he has received a gift, ministering it among yourselves as good stewards of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, as speaking oracles of God; if anyone ministers, as ministering out of the strength which God supplies; that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom is the glory and the might forever and ever. Amen.
1 Pet. 4:102, varied—The varied grace of God, like the “all grace” in ch. 5, is the rich supply of life, which is the Triune God ministered into us in many aspects (2 Cor. 13:14; 12:9). As good stewards, we should minister such grace, not merely doctrine nor any vain thing, to the church and the saints by the gift we have received.
1 Pet. 4:111, oracles—The divine speakings or utterances as revelations. In the ministry of grace, as mentioned in v. 10, our speaking should be God’s speaking, God’s utterance, which conveys divine revelation.
Eph. 3:7-8—Of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God which was given to me according to the operation of His power. To me, less than the least of all saints, was this grace given to announce to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel.
Prophesying is the carrying out of God’s oracle, God’s divine speaking. Prophesying is different from the testimonies that we have given in the past. In the past our sharing and testimonies were a repetition of a message that had just been given. Now we have much speaking instead of a message, but we must realize that the speaking should be divine. To prophesy is not to speak ordinary words. To prophesy is to speak something divine with and in the element of God’s divinity. Therefore, in our prophesying there must be the element of God’s divinity. Without the divine element our speaking is not prophesying.
Many among us have had a turn in our way of speaking, but we still need to pay much attention to the divine element for our speaking. The more of the divine element there is in our speaking, the more our speaking is prophesying. If I speak something without the divine element, my speaking is not prophesying. To prophesy is to speak something divine in the divine way with the divine element. (CWWL, 1988, vol. 4, “The Present Advance of the Lord’s Recovery,” ch. 5, pp. 577-578)
In the New Testament there is a unique chapter that talks about a definite gift that builds up the Body of Christ. This chapter is 1 Corinthians 14, and this gift is the excelling gift of prophesying…This kind of speaking will minister Christ mutually. We will minister Christ to one another when all are prophesying mutually (v. 24). By our prophesying mutually to minister Christ to one another, we will be nourished, edified, joined closely together, and knit closely together. Furthermore, we will be causing the growth of the Body that the Body might build itself up in love. When all prophesy in the church meetings of mutuality, Ephesians 4:16 will be fulfilled. (CWWL, 1988, vol. 4, “The Present Advance of the Lord’s Recovery,” ch. 3, pp. 552-553)
Today in the church we need the ministry. Brother Nee always belittled and even condemned the gifts. He always stressed the ministry again and again.
First and 2 Corinthians show the distinction between the gifts and the ministry. The first Epistle deals negatively with the gifts; the second speaks positively about the ministry. The church needs the ministry much more than the gifts. In the first Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul depreciated the gifts. In the second Epistle, the ministry is emphasized again and again. We have received this ministry, and this ministry is the ministry of the Spirit and of life (3:6, 8). What is needed in the churches today is the ministry, not the gifts. (CWWL, 1973-1974, vol. 1, “The History of the Church and the Local Churches,” ch. 8, p. 83)
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